I began studying astrology while living in Japan. I soon realized that up until then I’d been seeing everything ‘out there’ relative to myself — subjectivity to the hilt. Astrology opened a window onto the world for me — things were unique in there own right. Not only that, astrology offered what appeared to be an objective reason why things were the way they were.
As I dug deeper into astrology, the objective reasons stretched credulity. Sure, at the most fundamental level of non-locality, everything is connected. Non-locality seems to parallel chapter 56’s, This is known as mysterious sameness. However, going from mysterious connectedness to the detailed cause and effect of astrology ultimately felt too far-fetched. For an overview of non-locality, google [The Nonlocal, Entangled, Conscious Universe – Menas Kafatos].
Astrology began to look more like a symptom of a clearly human need for answers. In doing people’s horoscopes, it was interesting how those who believed in astrology enthusiastically accepted my presentation. Those who had no pre-belief were seldom if ever convinced. I began to realize that we only see what we already want to see, which eventually evolved into my sense that we only learn what we already know. I admit this is a very odd notion, but what can I say?
I realized that the world I perceived in my youth was actually a reflection of what I believed. Although at present, I think my perception is more a reflection of, not what I believe, but more of ‘who I am’ — innately, naturally, biologically. Our innate original self determines the beliefs to which we are attracted. I’ve come almost full circle, except that I’ve dropped much of the sensation of being at the center, and the sense of self-certainty that confers. Oddly, knowing that any belief I have simply mirrors my innate nature removes the heavy burden of self-responsibility. In other words, being ultra personal helps me not take life so personally. I say, “It is your biology stupid, and not the individual that your illusion of self ego thinks you are”.
As I write this, I wonder what genuine difference exists between my youthful perceptions and current ones. Truly, the main difference lies in impartiality, the Holy Grail of Taoist thought for me. As chapter 16 says,
But should one act from knowledge of the constant
One’s action will lead to impartiality,
Impartiality to kingliness,
Kingliness to heaven,
Heaven to the way,
The way to perpetuity,
And to the end of one’s days one will meet with no danger.
I assume that genuine impartiality can only increase if innate emotional partiality and insecurity subside with age and experience. Likewise, youthful emotions and insecurity can’t avoid adopting passionate preferences. Ah, such is the school of life.
If the world we see is simply a reflection of who we are, then Chapter 47 makes more sense. The deeper we know ‘in here’ the clearer we know ‘out there’.